Gurumurthy to Gadkari: pick party post or business

Nitin Gadkari

RSS ideologue S Gurumurthy hinted Tuesday that BJP chief Nitin Gadkari should choose between his party post and his love for social enterprise to avoid conflict and embarrassment to the party in future even as he said he stood by the "legal and moral" clean chit he gave to Gadkari last week in connection with his alleged improper business deals.

"I personally feel that no party president should be in business as that always invites problem and creates perception," Gurumurthy said in a series of tweets.

"I care very little whether Nitin remains president or not," he tweeted, adding that his audit of Gadkari's controversial businesses was done in good faith.

Last week, the findings of Gurumurthy's audit were used by the BJP to reaffirm its faith in Gadkari and quell the murmurs of dissent against him. On Tuesday, Gurumurthy seemed to be indicating that even though he had found Gadkari not to be in the wrong in connection with the allegations that surfaced in the media, the "perception" that has stuck with him is a "political problem" the BJP should deal with.

"The perception about Nitin is a political problem which he and his party have to handle. I handled only facts," Gurumurthy said. "I have clearly said that the media allegations on Gadkari is false (sic). If this is clean chit, I have given it."

Gurumurthy's latest views could add to Gadkari's woes as his detractors can use them to mount pressure against his bid for a second term as party president. Gadkari's critics in the BJP such as Ram Jethmalani, Mahesh Jethmalani and Jagdish Shettigar have all stressed on what they say is the negative perception generated by the controversy to corner Gadkari.

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